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Religious Watch


5th December
2007
  

Brighton Ear Muffs...

Brighton council ban homophobic songs from pubs and clubs

Get Rich poster Homophobic rap music has been banned in Brighton in case it offends the city's large gay population.

Music venues in the city have been ordered not to play certain tracks by artists such as Eminem and 50 Cent.

If pubs and clubs flout the ban, they can be stripped of their licence and closed down.

All music - whether played live or from a recording - that "incites hatred towards minorities" on religious, racial or sexuality grounds is affected.

The move follows an outcry last year over a scheduled performance by the notorious Jamaican artist Buju Banton.

Brighton and Hove's head of licensing, Dee Simson, said: We have a good record on equality and we felt it was important to include this in the licensing policy.

But Trevor Madison, production co-ordinator at Concorde 2, said: Who knows where these things are going?

 

26th December
2007
  

Update: Brighton Music Censors...

Brighton council on dodgy grounds for music censorship

Get Rich poster Brighton council is trying to ban anti-gay music in clubs yet is loaning CDs from its libraries of artists who have penned homophobic lyrics.

Pubs and clubs which play or allow artists to perform songs inciting homophobic acts face having their licence taken away in Brighton and Hove.

But it has emerged that work by Buju Banton, who recorded a song called Boom Bye Bye which advocates the shooting of gay men, and an album of songs by rapper Eminem, which includes homophobic lyrics, are available for loan at Brighton and Hove City Council libraries.

The CDs were initially withdrawn yesterday after The Argus contacted the council but tonight a spokesman for the authority said: We've not banned any acts from nightclubs and it's not our role to provide artistic taste police in our cultural facilities either.

The council last week voted to tackle so-called "murder music" with a new section to its licensing policy. Although the new council policy cannot legally ban any form of music, it was specifically designed to discourage murder music acts and allows licences to be reviewed if performances include incitement to violence.

The council spokesman said: A small section in the council's new licensing policy is aimed at preventing crime and antisocial behaviour in licensed premises. There is no ban or censorship on any particular artist or song and this section of the policy is not there to prevent people being offended - its sole purpose is to prevent crime and disorder.

This is a separate issue to the library service, which also does not aim to censor material which is legally available to the public. The library service sets out to maintain a balanced stock of material, offering a wide range of materials reflecting a broad spectrum of views and opinions. The Eminem Marshall Mathers LP was released over seven years ago, the lyrics are controversial and the CD is labelled with an explicit content warning."